"Maybe that's one of the reasons people get dogs, to kind of close up the empty places inside them."
Eleven-year-old William never needed a friend more than now. After his parents' separation, his father's new engagement, and his grandfather's dying without any warning -- adopting big, beautiful Riley is the first thing in a long time that has made him feel better. That is, until Riley innocently chases a horse.
Local law states that any animal that chases livestock must be put to sleep. Suddenly William stands to lose another thing close to him. Together with his "totally unsurpassed" friend Grace, William begins a campaign to reverse the county commissioners' decision. But with a community divided on the issue, and the bully Ellis Porter trying to stop them at every turn, will they be able to save Riley's life?
Celebrated author Eve Bunting shows William's determined struggle to fight for what he believes in. The Summer of Riley is an inspiring novel about learning to accept life's changes, the healing power of friendship, and the unending desire to protect those we love.